Designer Palette: Chalky Purple

Chalky Purple

Smokey gray-blue and lilac don't often meet, but when they do, it's color magic! This pairing has a whimsical feel, especially with shine from silver trim, but high-style fabric choices keep it just serious enough.

Designer: Sabrina Soto

Getting Started:

Use a ratio formal to help you put together a color scheme. Choose one primary color to serve as 40-60 percent of your color, then one to two secondary colors to comprise 30-40 percent of your color and fill the remainder with one to two accents. Thinking of color this way can help you determine how much of each color to use. Go to the next slide to see how this scheme breaks out.

The Colors

This color palette is based on a series of pastel gray-blues and purples. The colors tap into the chalky, sophisticated side of pastels, rather than the baby nursery side. Start with a grayish blue on the walls, and  ground the space with beige as beige acts a supporting secondary hue. Continue the chalky palette with a cool lavender in mid-ranged intensities, used as the main accent color.

In smaller doses, black and charcoal gray bring out the elegant characteristics of the dusty purple, blue-gray, and supple beige.

To pick the perfect pastels, compare the colors you're considering to a white paint chip and a gray chip. "If it leans white, the pastel most likely will be too sweet," Soto says. "Stick with pastels that have gray undertones."

Chalky Purple: Sophisticated

To give a chalky color an updated look, pair the hues with plenty of white, Soto says. Cream will embue a serene, classic look.

Do a comparison test before committing to a pastel paint. Hold a swatch of the color you're considering agains a white paint chip and a gray paint chip. "If it leans toward white, the pastel most likely will be sweet," Soto says. "Stick with pastels that have gray undertones."

Chalky Purple in this Room: The gray from the palette is replaced with white, which carries the purples into the sophisticated realm. Chalky purple makes its presence known on the walls. If you don't have a lot of wall space (because of built-ins, windows, or doorways), it's okay to use a seondary color for the paint because it won't consume as much visual space. Darker shades of purple on the bedding, pillows and window seat cushions ground the white and lighter purple, and replace the grayish-blue as an accent.

Chalky Purple: Serene

Black and charcoal gray are an obvious way to dress up pastels, but don't overlook beige. It will impart serenity and a more Zen-like atmosphere. Soto says she especially likes pastels for rooms design for relaxing, such as bedrooms and living rooms.

Chalky Purple in this Space: In this space, beige becomes a seondary color and purple takes a turn as an accent. White replaces the black to complete the relaxing atmosphere.

Chalky Purple: Modern

Layer pastels with vibrant colors or interesting textures to keep them from looking bland. "It's all about creatying dynamic layers and interest," Soto says.

Chalky Purple in this Room: In a large, open space, using colors proportionately becomes all the more important. Color can quickly overtake a room, so it's best to stick with neutral walls and let furnishings carry the color. To keep the palette bright and airy, this room utilizes a creamy beige as the primary color. Chalky purple remains a strong secondary color, on the chairs and ottomon, while gray brings the built-ins into prominence. Black is limited to the base of the coffee table, but the firebox also acts as a plane of black. Beyond color, texture also plays a part in this room's design success, from the woven baskets and grasscloth flooring, to the fuzzy ottoman and the glass sculpture on the table.

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Blue Paint Color: Rhythmic Blue SW6806

Lavender Paint Color: Wishful Blue SW6813

Both: Sherwin Williams,

Solid Lavender fabric

Learn how to use purple when decorating a room. With variations ranging from lavender to plum, purple can create a variety of looks and work in plenty of different color schemes.

More Tips

Discover more ways to decorate with purple.

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